IN THE wake of another media killing in Albay, Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) called on journalists from Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley and the Cordilleras to strengthen cooperation in giving immediate information to authorities once a threat against a journalist is received.
PTFMS Undersecretary Joel Egco during the North Luzon Information Caravan for President Rodrigo Duterte’s Administrative Order No. 1 ( creating a Presidential Task Force against media killings) stressed it is the mandate of PTFoMS to protect media workers or practitioners whether from work - related violence or not, regardless of reason and motives.
“In our study on the state of killings against journalist, the question on why are journalists being killed in the Philippines came up and who kills the journalists. It is important for any journalist in the country to immediately inform authorities once a threat is present,” Egco said.
Based on the present data inventory of the task force, there more or less 400 newspapers in the country, 400 AM stations, 1,020 FM stations, and more or less 450 cable stations which are covered by the mandate based on Administrative Order No.1 by President Rodrigo Duterte signed on October 11, 2016 creating the Presidential Task Force on violations of the right to life, liberty and security of the members of the media.
“Our study also showed journalists performing their duties face certain risks, advocacies and crusaders who face the highest level of risks are the targets of would be perpetrators against journalists. This answers the question of who are being targeted,” Egco pointed out.
Egco cited the usual risk factors on the life of a media practitioner. They are being threatened mostly due to the line of work, in performing an advocacy and in doing a crusade while the main causes of media killing are due to dirty politics, corruption and the vulnerability of the media sector.
Generally, media killing is a result of the hostile geo – political environment in the country.
Egco also reported radio broadcaster Joey Llana was killed at 6:00 a.m. on July 20 while driving his car along Barangay Penafrancia in Daraga, Albay. Llana is the 170th media killed since 1986 that the PTFoMS is now looking into.
Duterte’s Administrative Order (AO) affirms all forms of political violence and abuses of powers, whether by agents or elements of the State or of non-State forces, against the members or the so-called Fourth State, must stop.
Through the AO, the Duterte administration also commits "to involve the whole system of bureaucracy" in the efficient, coherent, and comprehensive resolution of unsolved cases of violence in the form of killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons against the members of the press.
The ratified version of protocols of the PTFoMS was shared to journalist, the Philippine National Police and members of the legal profession to be briefed on the process on how to act against threats on journalists.